Monday, 27 Jan 2020

Decade ending 2019 likely to be hottest on record

NEW YORK: The agency also finds that 2019 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in history, with the global average temperature during January through October, roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing, said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

We are nowhere near on track to meet the Paris Agreement target, he added, referring to the 2015 international accord to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

CO2 and sea levels on the rise

The report finds that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, which hit record levels last year, also continued to rise in 2019.

Additionally, sea level rise has increased due to melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, while ocean heat is at record levels, with vital marine ecosystems being degraded.

Several United Nations agencies provided input to the report, which also details how weather and climate have an impact on health, food security, migration, ecosystems and marine life.

Climate variability and extreme weather events are among key drivers of the recent rise in global hunger, which now affects more than 820 million people.

On a day-to-day basis, the impacts of climate change play out through extreme and abnormal weather. And, once again in 2019, weather and climate related risks hit hard, said Mr Taalas.

Heatwaves and floods which used to be once in a century events are becoming more regular occurrences. Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique, suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia.

(PRN | 2 months ago)